Ex-British finance minister Rishi Sunak cemented his lead in the race to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, while Foreign Secretary Liz Truss closed the gap in her quest to reach among the finalists.
After Johnson’s dramatic resignation on 7 July as Conservative Party leader, which would see him leave Prime Minister once the party finds a successor, Last week began the long internal race to replace him.
Initially, 358 Conservative MPs vote in successive rounds of disqualification until two finalists are named on July 21.
The second time around, nearly 200,000 members of the Conservative Party will choose between these two by mail vote over the summer, to determine the winner on September 5.
In the third round of voting by Conservative MPs, held on Monday, Sunak won by 115 votes, ahead of International Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt with 82 votes and Gears by 71 (7 more than in the second round).
Former Equality Minister Kimi Badenouche came fourth with 58 votes, and Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat was ousted by 31 votes.
After two televised debates organized over the weekend between these five candidates, Sunak and Truss decided not to participate in the third, scheduled for Tuesday night by Sky News, which had to cancel.
The channel considered that the possibility of a third debate made the British Conservatives afraid of exposing many differences among them.
After appearing unmasked in the first debate on Friday, Truss squarely attacked Sunak, a former government colleague who accused him of dragging the country into “recession” by raising taxes and social fees.
Johnson votes to vote for confidence in his government
Sunak and Truss have been throwing daggers at each other since the beginning of the campaign. The latter has been trying to gain ground since falling in the first three votes to third, behind Mordaunt and Sunak, who secured his way to the final on Monday.
A favorite of Johnson’s camp, the minister is convinced that Sunak waited for the right moment for months before announcing his resignation on 4 July, precipitating a string of resignations that eventually forced his prime minister. This account was rejected by Sunak supporters.
But according to the newspaper timesJohnson has been urging disqualified candidates to lend their support to “anyone but Rishi”, whom he accuses of treason because he precipitated the resignations of 60 other members of the government, and ultimately the downfall of the Conservative leader.
Having ended his legendary ability to survive political crises, Johnson was forced to resign as he lost his party support. Because of the multiple scandals surrounding it that are hurting the electoral prospects of the Conservatives in the legislative elections scheduled for 2024.
Ironically, MPs were forced to vote in Parliament on their support for Johnson’s government, which on Monday submitted a self-confidence motion. Conservatives, including the rebels, could not refuse him lest they indulge themselves in a disastrous snap election for the party at this time.
“I believe this is one of the most dynamic governments of the modern era, not only to overcome adversity on a scale not seen in centuries, but to transcend adversity,” the Prime Minister said during the discussion. during the pandemic.
The Executive has activated this confidence motion for technical reasons, In response to an attempt at censure by the Labor opposition, it is “unacceptable” that Johnson should continue as Prime Minister until September.
* With information from AFP.
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